Inflammation is a localized physical condition,part of a series of bodys biological reaction to dangerous stimuli. Inflammation indicates that our bodies are trying to fight something dangerous and is in the process of healing itself. Without it, wounds would not heal and simple diseases would become resistant and deadly . Inflammation is a defense mechanism that is an innate immunity meaning it is naturally present in our bodies and very different from acquired immunity. As much as inflammation can be beneficial chronic inflammation can eventually cause some serious diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and specific cancers .For example in wound healing process, the inflammation begins as an irritation, graduates to inflammation, followed by discharge of pus then granulation stage follows and lastly a new tissue is formed in the wounds
Signs and Symptoms of Inflammation
They will depend on whether they are acute or chronic
• Pain: Area is likely to be painful due to sensitive nerve ending caused by stimulating chemicals.
• Immobility: The organ losses its ability to function.
• Redness: There is more blood fills up in the capillaries giving the area a red color
• Heat: more blood floods to the inflamed area making it feel warm.
• Swelling: Because of buildup of fluid
• Mouth sore
• Chest pain
• Joint Pain
Inflammation causes pain, discomfort and stiffness depending on the severity of the inflammation.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen and aspirin can be taken to alleviate the pain. It is however important to desist from long-term use of NSAIDS unless advised otherwise by a physician as they would increase a person’s risk of stomach ulcer, stroke and also worsen asthma symptoms.
Acetaminophen, can alleviate the pain without affecting the inflammation and such drugs includes paracetamol and Tylenol.
This a group of steroid hormones preventing any mechanism involving inflammation. They are divided into two Glucocorticoids and Mineralocorticoids.Glucocorticoids suppress immunity and inflammation which includes fludrocortisone while mineralocorticoids regulates body salt and water balance which includes predinsolone,clestone and hydrocortisone.
Healthy dietary choices and also lifestyle can also help alleviate inflammation:
1. Fruits and vegetables: Contain antioxidants and polyphenols which are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties
2. Beverages like coffee and cocoa: which contain polyphenols and flavonals respectively, which have protective characteristics against inflammation.
3. Nuts Research:indicates that nuts have anti inflammatory characteristics and protects also against cardiovascular diseases.
4. High quality sleep and rest: Studies have shown a relationship between lack of sleep and CRP elevation. This means lack of sleep can lead to inflammation.